In addition to his highly-anticipated 2023 tour, Bruce Springsteen has announced a new album. Only the Strong Survive, which arrives November 11th via Columbia Records, will be a collection of soul music covers. In a statement per Pitchfork, Springsteen explained the forthcoming project:
"I wanted to make an album where I just sang. And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the ’60s and ’70s? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all—and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it."
The album will see Springsteen cover songs like "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" performed by the Walker Brothers, Nashville legend and trans pioneer Jackie Shane's "Any Other Way," Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and many more. The album will also feature guest vocals from soul and R&B legend Sam Moore of Sam & Dave.
According to Pitchfork, Springsteen recorded the album with E Street Horns, producer Ron Aniello, and backing vocalists Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins, and Fonzi Thornton.
Only the Strong Survive is the follow-up to Springsteen's 2020 album Letter to You and his first collection of covers since We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions in 2006.
Springsteen has also released the first taste of the album with "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" and an accompanying music video. Check it out below.
Only the Strong Survive tracklist:
- Only the Strong Survive
- Soul Days [ft. Sam Moore]
- Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
- The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
- Turn Back the Hands of Time
- When She Was My Girl
- Hey, Western Union Man
- I Wish It Would Rain
- Don’t Play That Song
- Any Other Way
- I Forgot to Be Your Lover [ft. Sam Moore]
- 7 Rooms of Gloom
- What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
- Someday We’ll Be Together